Thinking about getting inked to commemorate your pregnancy?
Or maybe the embarrassment from that regrettable #YOLO tat you got a few years back has mounted and finally led to the decision to cover up that lapse in judgment.
Whatever the reason for getting tattooed may be, if you have a bun in the oven, you may be wondering, “Can you get a tattoo while pregnant?”
In a word, yes. But don’t make the decision without thinking it through.
Table Of Contents
Why? What’s The Problem?
The reason why getting a tat while pregnant may not be such a great idea is that, as with any time you get inked, you can contract an infection such as HIV or Hepatitis B.
Sure, the chances of that happening are slim, but as many mamas will concede, why risk it?
Then there are the “unknown” factors, such as the safety of skin dyes and how they may affect your baby.
Because skin dyes do contain chemicals, there is always a chance that the dye may affect the development of your bubs, especially during the first 12 weeks of the baby’s life.
image source: Sarah Kate Butterworth
Finally, don’t forget the fact that you are stretching and expanding every single day and at a rapid rate.
That new tattoo that you got when you were 20 weeks preggers may look symmetrical now.
But when you regain your slimmer pre-pregnancy shape, that happy face you tattooed on yourself may transform into a lopsided scowl.
Oh yeah, and if you get stretch marks, those too could destroy your fresh ink.
Play it safe and definitely avoid tattoos on your butt, breasts, thighs and tummy.
Can I Get Permanent Eye Liner While Pregnant?
What’s This About Not Being Able To Get An Epidural?
If you’ve shared your desire to get inked with friends and family, one important piece of information you have likely heard is that if you get a tattoo on your back, you will not have the option of getting an epidural.
At this point, this is more “untrue” than it is “true”.
a) Very few studies have been conducted regarding the risks of women with back tatties receiving an epidural; and
b) Absolutely none of these studies have proven that there is an issue
Because of this, the majority of anesthesiologists will have no qualms giving you a shot of the “good stuff” while you’re in labor.
But just to be safe, make sure that you contact the hospital you plan to deliver at and find out what their policy is about tattoos and epidurals.
So You’ve Decided To Get A Tattoo Anyway
If getting a tattoo is still cool with you, do your research and make sure that the tattoo artist and/or the studio follow these important guidelines:
- If you live in a state which registers tattoo artists, make sure that he or she is a registered practitioner
- The tattoo artist should wear gloves throughout the entire tattooing process
- The tattoo artist must have a sterilizing unit and must use it to sterilize all equipment
- The needles used must be brand-spankin’ new, be disposable and be made for one-time use
- All dyes/ink used must be contained in a sterile package and must not have been opened
- The floors and surfaces in the studio must be sparkling clean
- The tattoo artist should be at your beck and call during those first 24 hours in case you have any problems
Already got inked and aren’t sure if the artist followed these guidelines?
Pay a visit to your doctor and let him or her know.
Chances are they will have you tested for Hepatitis, HIV and Syphilis.
Consider The Alternatives
Nothing beats a real tattoo, but there are alternatives that you may want to consider while you’re expecting.
Adult Temporary Tattoos: Sure, they don’t last long, but they’re pretty cheap and there are shiny metallic options which are gooorgeous.
Henna: Henna is a great alternative since the designs last a whole lot longer than temporary tatties.
image source: Henna Oasis
Just keep in mind that there is “safe” henna and there is “unsafe” henna.
The type you want to look for is natural and safe stains that color the skin orange, red, brick, and brown.
Avoid black henna (that junk isn’t safe for anyone, pregnant or not).
The Rundown On Getting A Tattoo While Pregnant
Getting a tattoo while pregnant is “okay” but there is always a risk of contracting HIV or Hepatitis B.
- Consider an alternative, like henna (but avoid black henna)
- If you’re going for a tattoo, make sure the artist/studio wears gloves and uses sterile equipment and dyes
- If you’ve had a questionable experience with a tattoo artist while pregnant, visit your doctor
A lot of moms get inked while pregnant, and many others have loads of questions. Share your experiences and thoughts below!